Tuesday, 8 March 2016

Beef Stew

Since the start of 2016 I've been following the new WeightWatchers SmartPoints programme. As a WW gold member for for 13 years, I think this is the best programme so far, discouraging the consumption of sugar and saturated fat, while encouraging filling, healthy eating habits. And so far, it's working for me.

Many of our favourite crockpot recipes are already low in SmartPoints, so we've continued to include them in our weekly planning. For example, I've just prepared the Pulled Pork recipe for tomorrow's dinner, and we had the Best Whole Chicken yesterday (with chips!). This recipe for beef stew is adapted directly from the new WeightWatchers book. We've made it twice since the start of the year, and it's likely to continue in our repertoire of recipes. 

Like many other recipes on this blog, this can be put together the evening before cooking, and left overnight in the fridge. We've eaten it with rice or mashed potatoes, and it has gone down well with both children. The original recipe browns the onion, celery and carrot first, but I've found this isn't necessary.

Preparation

Chop 1 onion, 2 celery sticks and 4 carrots, quite small, and put them in the bottom of the crockpot. Crush 2 cloves of garlic and add this to the put. Add 500g of cubed lean beef (I used round steak). Combine 1tsp ground cinnamon with 1tbsp flour, and sprinkle this over the meat in the crockpot. 

In a jug, combine 400ml beef stock, 2tbsp tomato purĂ©e, 3tbsp balsamic vinegar, 125ml red wine, and 1/2tsp dried thyme. Pour this over the meat and vegetables in the crockpot. Now leave this in the fridge overnight, or continue to cook. 

When you are ready to start cooking, switch the crockpot to LOW and leave it for 8 - 10 hours. 

The Outcome

This results in a very tasty beef stew, with plenty of vegetables. While the gravy is a little thin, it is full of flavour. Serve with rice or mashed potato, or just with green vegetables if you need a really low fat dinner. This serves 4 people very easily.